The UC San Diego men’s and women’s fencing teams are in the middle of another outstanding season, leading the conference in 2005-06. UCSD hosts five other schools in RIMAC Arena on Feb. 11, the West Invitaional Duals. Head Coach Heidi Runyan took time to discuss some aspects of the fencing program and her own fencing experiences.
Q- How do you feel about the team's performance in the fall?
RUNYAN- Great! All six of our squads are leading the conference. We also completed a very successful trip to a large multi-school meet at Northwestern University in which we had some significant victories.
Q- Which individuals may surprise others this year?
RUNYAN- We have strengthened our women’s foil squad with the addition of freshmen Jennifer Chun and Zitin Kachru. Freshman Heather Stephenson is making us extremely strong in women’s epee.
Q- When did you begin your association with fencing?
RUNYAN- I started fencing in my late teens at a very interesting club in Hollywood where many actors took lessons under two-time Olympian Ralph Faulkner. I then went on to fence on the Cal State Los Angeles’ varsity team in college under Delmar Calvert. I’m truly grateful for the experience the university made possible for me to compete on a varsity team.
Q- Describe the fencing history of the Runyan family?
RUNYAN- My husband and I met on the university varsity team. We settled down in San Diego after his active duty military commitment and started competing again at the local and national level. When our sons were growing up, we wanted to share the sport with them and have them be involved in it.
Q- What are some details you discuss to incoming UCSD fencing athletes?
RUNYAN- That fencing for UCSD is a great opportunity, and that the camaraderie of being part of an NCAA fencing team is a wonderful experience. They get to be part of a great competitive Triton team, and the education they get is top notch from a prestigious university.
Q- What do you enjoy doing away from fencing?
RUNYAN- I like to read, take pictures of everything, though I need to sign up for a photography class since everything turns out blurry.
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